Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘#GoodNews

Courtesy of The Kelly File

Courtesy of The Kelly File

Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard, two of the victim sisters of Josh Duggar, broke their silence on The Kelly File Friday night. I watched, intently, to see how they spoke about their abuse, and how they reacted to personal questions regarding said abuse. And, do you know what I saw?

Grace.

Forgiveness.

Mercy.

I saw tears, too, but not where I expected them.

I expected the girls to break down when they were asked about what their brother did. I expected them to react like I did — like so many of us do when we recount our abuse — with tears, anger, and yes, some bitterness that Josh Duggar stole something precious from them — their innocence.

But, they didn’t.

Their body language was relaxed. They looked at ease through most of the interview. They smiled, laughed, and comfortably spoke about what took place in their home. It wasn’t until the subject of the media was brought up that, at least, Jill’s body language changed. She stiffened up and began to cry as she gave her personal feelings about the release of their sealed report. Jill recalled calling her husband on that day, over two weeks ago, when In Touch Magazine posted the police report for all the world to see.

“We’re victims,” Jill Duggar Dillard exclaimed. “How can they do that to us?”

Jill continued to fight back her emotions as she explained how they felt they were being re-victimized “a thousand times worse” than the original offense. She, and sister Jessa, both said multiple times, “We had already dealt with it, we moved on. Josh confessed to us, we forgave him; we moved on.”

So, why can’t America let it go?

Is it because we are disgusted with this kind of “sin”? As well we should be. As one who has endured years of childhood sexual abuse, I can say first hand that molestation is disgusting. It is vile. It is reprehensible. Repulsive. Repugnant. Vicious. Nasty. Shocking. Appalling. And, yes, contemptible. A lot of the posts I have seen over the past few weeks express those very words. Some would like nothing better than to take Josh Duggar out behind the woodshed and execute him. We have no problem understanding, or accepting, the words that express our disgust of Josh’s actions. We applaud those words. We exhort those words. But, there is another word we’ve heard that makes us just as mad as Josh Duggars actions against his sisters and baby sitter. A word that infuriates us and enrages us, and causes us to strike out in shock and disbelief that such a word could even be muttered over such a reprobate .

Forgiven.

WHAT? Forgiven? How could anyone forgive what he has done? He’s a pig. A worm. He doesn’t deserve to live. I’ve seen the words written all over the internet, newspaper sites, blog posts, Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds… they’ve all basically said the same thing. “Josh Duggar is a vile human being, and therefore must be punished in a manner that is acceptable to us.”

But, we don’t get to make that call, do we?

Josh didn’t molest us, he molested his sisters and baby sitter, and they are the only ones who get to determine whether or not he is forgiven. Period. And they chose to forgive him.

Deal with it, America.

I was very impressed by Jill and Jessa. They have given us a peek into something holy. A humble, beautiful example of Agape Love. True love that covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8). Along with a heart of love, they have given us a clear example of what true forgiveness looks like. A perfect example of how our LORD, Jesus Christ, treats every one of us who repent and turn from our sin to follow him.

The Duggar girls aren’t angry. The don’t exhibit signs of bitterness. They aren’t bashing their brother. Instead, their words toward him are seasoned with grace and mercy. They have said they have dealt with it, they have forgiven him, and they have moved on.

I believe them.

Is it possible, the reason we are so outraged is because we just expect the Duggar girls to feel the same way we do over our own abuses (or how we feel over a family member/friend who was abused)? And, because they don’t we think there must be something wrong with them?

I mean, who does that?

Victims forgive.

Why?

Because forgiveness doesn’t release the offender from the responsibility of his or her actions, rather, it releases the victim from the prison of emotional upheaval and life altering issues caused by the offenders actions.

The Duggar girls understand this.

They don’t need our help. No matter how much we think our two cents (even this blog post) is spot on, they don’t need our help. They’ve got it covered. And, they don’t need the internet counseling sessions. Their family dealt with Josh’s abuse. DCFS cleared the parents, and even complimented them on how they handled the situation. And, certainly, the girls don’t need our criticism for their right to forgive their brother.

These girls have suffered twice now.

It’s time to allow them the dignity to live their own lives with their own convictions.

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Many nights, throughout my life, were filled with deep sorrow, hours of shed tears, and my mouth open in silent screams. I didn’t know how to verbalize what I felt inside. Dead. Betrayed. Hurt. Shattered. Alone. Desperate. Needy. Just tears and silent screams. I don’t remember saying too much, except, “Oh, God.” But, God still heard me, and understood. It was during this time I wrote the following:

Whispers in the Dark
The darkest, quietness of night
In stillness as you lay;
The only sound or rhythm heard
Are words your mouth can’t say.

The tears that burn your sleepy eyes
A fist in anger clenched;
The cry that asks “Why me, Oh Lord?”
The soul, in anguish drenched.

And though it can’t be verbalized
Into a single word;
A whisper’s heard with every beat
Your heart is being heard.

God hears you, Beloved. Even though you think he has ignored you. Even when you think he doesn’t care. But wait, if you listen long enough, you can hear it. In the stillest, quietness of night, the heart will whisper the tale of its journey to its Creator. And, there in the darkness…God is whispering back.

Excerpt from, “Whispers From My Heart – Emotional and Spiritual Healing from Childhood Sexual Assault.

I know. It sounds flippant. But, really, it’s not. I really am sorry. I didn’t mean to do it, again. I didn’t mean to give in to a moment of weakness.

But, I did.

I hate when I give in to sin. It is usually followed by a sense of distance between God’s Spirit and me, and a bout of guilt that continues until I break down, confess myself to God, and repent of my sin.

That’s how it went today. Happily, in short order.

Sin is deceitful. It draws us in by constant bombardment. At times, we are able to stand firm against it, and it lessens the pull against us. However, there are those moments of weakness when we give in to that temptation. It seems so exciting, so good, so inviting, when we are being tempted. But once we have given into the sin, and completed the sin, the guilt and shame enter in. The guilt and the shame create the distance that develops between God and our self. Sin always causes us to shrink away from God. Sin and God cannot stay in the same place.

That’s how sin works.

That’s why God tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from you. – James 4:7.

I can hear you saying, “But, you don’t know how hard it is…”!
Oh, yes I do. That is why I also come bearing good news.

We are all human. While we can learn to overcome sin, we are bound to fail. God, in his mercy, has already made provision for us.

The work that Jesus did on the cross, not only provided us with salvation, but total forgiveness of sin. Total. I mean, everything we did in the past, everything we do today, and everything we do in the future. Covered. Taken care of. Blotted out.

“Are you telling me if I let loose of a string of cuss words, I’m covered? I can do whatever I want?”

I didn’t say that.

“But, that’s what it sounded like.”

No, that is not what I’m saying. Otherwise, the guilt I felt when I gave in to temptation is of no use.

When Jesus died he died ONCE and FOR ALL for ALL sin for ALL TIME, Romans 6:10, he took care of sin for ALL TIME for ALL who come to him.

“You mean, me, too?”

Yes, you, too.

However, if, once we have accepted Christ’s payment for our sin, if we continue to live in sin his sacrifice is null and void for us – See Hebrews 10:26.

A Christian who willingly sins hasn’t died to sin – Romans 6:2.
One who humbles him or herself in the sight of God allows God’s Spirit to work sin out; to conform us to the image of Christ.

As one who is overcoming the issues of Childhood Sexual Assault, falling off the sin wagon is huge. Since control is a big issue, loosing control matters. Not controlling my mouth, or my body, or my attitude, brings about huge disappointments. As soon as I give in to sin, the cycle begins: I retreat from God, and as I make that retreat, I remind myself; “You’re so stupid, you can’t do anything right.” “You are dumb.” “God hates you.” These thoughts take me even farther away from God. They increase my distance from him. Thankfully, God’s Spirit also begins his work, reminding me God’s mercy is new every morning -Lamentations 3:22 & 23. Drawing me back. Closing the gap.

You see, God knows we are going to fail.
He has already forgiven us.
Already given us the way back.
Already closing the distance between us, and him.
Already drawing us back in.

The scriptures tell us in Romans 8:39, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Our failures don’t make us unlovable to God. They won’t cause God to abandon us. He won’t run away from us. We’ll be chastised because he loves us – Hebrews 12:6. We’ll have to suffer the consequences of our choices, but God will never turn away or forsake us.

Don’t hold back.
He’s calling you to turn back to him.
He’s telling you, you’re already forgiven. Already covered.
Even if you are enduring tough circumstances because of your choices, God is still there, right beside you. Waiting for you to run into his arms.

We are human.
We’re going to stumble and fall.
But, you are more than…your sin.

I got to ponderin’—that’s the South’s way of saying, thinking about – this morning, as I dried my hair, the title of my blog is Whispers From My Heart.

What exactly does my heart whisper?

Would you agree that our hearts whisper desires or longings? I do. I think our hearts have a longing to belong to something greater than ourselves. I think we all desire to be loved; accepted for who we are, and not what we can do for someone else.

But, to whom, or to what, do our desires and longings go?

Speaking in human terms, there are many things, or objects, our desires and longings can be placed upon. For example:

·         Our desires and longings can be placed on another human individual. For example: we see a member of the opposite sex that we are attracted to and our desire is to know him (speaking as a female). We want to be close to him, talk to him, touch him, and if we are lucky enough to marry him, to be intimate with him. He is all we think about.

·         Our desire can also be placed on an object, such as a car, a motorcycle; a bigger house, or a grand vacation. All we have to do is look at the credit card industry to see this is true. We go into debt, and sometimes massive debt, to have the nicest house, the nicest clothes, the nicest car, and the greatest vacation. This desire might not always be at the top of our priority list, but underneath, the desire is there. You can feel it when you look at the brochure, or visit the web site. In some cases, this desire to have things drives you to succeed in life.

·         Money – now that’s a big one. We can’t live this life without money. With money we can have nice cars, nice houses, and grand vacations. With money we will never worry about where our next meal is coming. With money, everything is available to us. Everything. Nothing would be withheld, if only we have money. The longing and desire for money can fill our hearts quickly. It, too, will drive a person to succeed. The more someone succeeds, the more money they have. Sometimes, this desire for money causes a person to disregard their fellow human being. Many people have been pushed aside and trampled in the quest for the almighty dollar.

o   Don’t misunderstand me. Money itself is not the issue; it is the desire for money that I speak of.

·         Sometimes our affections are placed on love itself. Or, they can be placed on revenge, hatred, jealousy and any other emotions we have. There are times when emotions have captivated us to the point of driving our thoughts and our actions. Hatred easily breeds murder. For example: look at the mass shootings that have taken place in our offices, our schools, and our military bases.  Sure, mental health is an issue we must deal with, but, what drove them to commit murder? In many instances, though, there was a disgruntled employee, a targeted teen, who endured emotional torture and bullying from classmates. There were weeks and months of preparation while anger birthed murder. There was anger. There was hatred. And finally, there was murder.

o   Do not misunderstand me. I am not making light of mental health. Mental issues are very real occurrences that do need to be dealt with. Counseling, medicine and the right therapy have helped millions of people overcome the issues of mental illness. I am not dealing with that issue, but the underlying emotion of hatred that brings people to the point of bloodshed.

The valuable thing of our life – our heart — begins to get wrapped up in the all-important thing or person our focus is on.

Maybe you’ve heard this before … maybe not. Inside every one of us is a void; an empty spot we keep trying to fill. Money, love, sex, people, things, objects. We focus on those things to fill this need we have inside of us, but the more we have the less we are satisfied. So we think we must need more, but the more we get the more dead we feel. Nothing seems to satisfy us.

Why is that?

What would you say if I told you the real whisper of our hearts is the longing and desire for God? A longing and desire for a real life, bonafied, relationship with God.  He is, after all, the one who created the void to begin with.

In thousands of years, since man and woman first made an appearance on this earth, we still seek other things and place our desire on them. It’s part of the human condition. Every single person deals with it. But, be of good courage, my friend, because Jesus Christ has already overcome the human condition and he makes it possible for us to do the same!

That’s part of the GOOD NEWS that should be heralded throughout the earth.

The focus of our desire can be changed. The whisper; the longing and desire, we have in the most private points in our lives, all point to Jesus Christ. Once we accept him, and allow the focus of our lives to be on him, our lives begin to make sense. We begin to think about other people and their needs. We stop to help someone else get ahead, instead of trampling them on our way up. We begin to see life through the lens of love, instead of hate. Relationships take on new meaning. Money becomes a tool we can use.

Having money and having things, and focusing on other things besides God isn’t a sin and it won’t haul us before they judgment seat of Christ. But, who, or what, is the foremost desire of our hearts will.

Your heart is whispering a desire and a longing for God to become number one.

Who, or what, are you going to focus on?

Father, help us to focus on you, the one who authors and perfects our faith. Fill the void of our hearts with you so that we can seek you first and foremost, and your righteousness. Your word tells us that in doing so, in seeking you first, you will add everything we need. Help our desire and focus to be on you and not what we can obtain. Thank you for loving us, and for the whisper of our hearts that longs for you to answer.

Scripture References:

Psalm 119:36 & 37 “Give me a desire for your rules, rather than for wealth gained unjustly. Make my eyes pass by from looking at what is worthless. Revive me by your word!” (NET Bible)

Hebrews 12:1 & 2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…” (NET Bible)

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?… So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.” (NET Bible)